Spar UK appoints Agnew to chair of Food Distributors board

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Spar UK has appointed Martin Agnew, joint managing director of Henderson Group, as chairman of the Spar Food Distributors (SFD) board. 

Agnew takes over the mantle from AF Blakemore managing director, Peter Blakemore, who has held the position since 1991. 

Blakemore will continue to be a director on the SFD board and will represent Spar in the UK on the International Spar board.

Agnew, previously chairman of the National Guild, will lead the SFD board towards a renewed and shared vision for Spar.

“Spar is radically changing as an organisation in order to meet the needs of our retailers in the future. The first step in our process has been to reduce the cost of membership,” he said.

“Over the past months, we have announced many different low cost model packages for our retailers. We are also working on a number of other exciting strategies to develop the Spar business and I look forward to the challenge of guiding the strategic thinking of Spar in the future,” he said.

Meanwhile, James Hall & Co director Dominic Hall will take over from Agnew as chairman of the National Guild in September. “The Guild system has been a major factor in the ongoing success of Spar in the UK,” said Hall.

“The Guild is a forum for committed retailers to directly input into Spar’s operation and development. This unique body has created the opportunity for Spar to reflect the true partnership between the wholesaler, the retailer and Central Office.”

Hall becomes the eighth holder of the office of chairman of The National Guild, a position that is always held by a director of the SFD Board.

Debbie Robinson will start as Spar UK managing director today (5September 2011). Robinson said: “Spar is a fantastic entrepreneurial business with vast experience in the convenience sector. I will be focusing on the changing needs of our customers and identifying key points of differentiation to drive commercial benefit for the Spar brand.”